French king Francois I (often Francis I in English) commissioned the building of Château de Chambord as a hunting lodge in 1519. Although medieval in structure with a central keep, round bastions at the corners, two wings, two further towers, and an enclosing curtain wall, the execution of the building is Renaissance, a style Francois became familiar with during his campaigns in Italy.
Although intended as a hunting lodge, Château de Chambord became by far the largest chateau in the Loire region. Its extravagant dimensions are 156 m long and up to 56 meter tall. The 426 rooms made do with 282 fireplaces and 77 staircases. Over 800 sculpted columns keep it all together.
Francois I hoped to impress the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V with the chateau and he did. The emperor visited in 1539 and described Chambord as a summary of what human industry can achieve.